Guidance for Scheme Providers on Criteria for Approval of an Exemption from the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment

All exemptions from the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment are granted at the discretion of the JIB and the SJIB, operating through the ECS Steering Committee.

This document answers some questions and provides guidelines and mechanisms regarding exemptions as follows:

1)      The essential aim of the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment.

2)      What does this mean for an individual wishing to obtain an ECS/Grade Card?

3)      What is meant by an exemption?

4)      Why do exemptions each have a validity period?

5)      Why are some exemptions valid for a longer period than others?

6)      Where can a current list of approved exemptions be found?

7)      What does a Training Provider have to do to apply for an exemption?

8)      The Exemption Process.

1)      The essential aim of the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment
The ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment was introduced as the method of assessing the current knowledge of individuals working in the electrotechnical industry across a wide range of relevant health and safety topics. Such knowledge and awareness will help ensure their health and safety, and that of others who work with or near them, on site.
 
2)      What does this mean for an individual wishing to obtain an ECS/Grade Card?
Since 1 February 2003, in order to demonstrate a satisfactory level of current health and safety knowledge, all applicants for new or renewed ECS/Grade Cards are required to have either:
a)      successfully completed the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment; or
b)      provided suitable evidence (e.g. a copy of a certificate) of holding an exemption (within the validity period) which is recognised by the JIB and the SJIB as fulfilling the essential aim of the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment above, and the requirements shown in 7 below.
 
3)      What is meant by an exemption?
The JIB and the SJIB recognise that the achievement of some alternative means of assessing an individuals health and safety knowledge which demonstrates an equivalent or greater knowledge and awareness as is required by the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment. An exemption will therefore save the individual and/or their employer time and expense whilst maintaining or exceeding the required minimum standard.
To be eligible for an exemption, any such alternative assessment must have been approved by the JIB and the SJIB as fulfilling, as a minimum, the essential aim of the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment, and the requirements shown in 7 below.
 
4)      Why do exemptions each have a validity period?
Health and safety legislation and accompanying guidance change through time, for example due to changes in technology and improvements in health and safety practices. In addition, an individuals knowledge may fade unless refresher training is undertaken from time to time.
As is emphasised in the essential aim, the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment seeks to test current health and safety knowledge, therefore awareness needs to be assessed periodically.
It is for these same reasons that exemptions are also assigned a validity period.
 
5)      Why are some exemptions valid for a longer period than others?
Certain health and safety qualifications may demonstrate that an individual has a level of relevant health and safety knowledge in excess of that required to successfully complete the ECS Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment. Some will require much more extensive study and the sitting of written examinations rather than multiple-choice assessments and therefore require a much more in-depth level of knowledge. For these reasons the validity period varies, depending upon the level of the qualification.
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